Archive for the 'digg' Category

Digg Note # 1: Commenting

One of the best ways to gain rapport on Digg is to study Digg’s culture. A Digg user who has a grasp of the culture will be able to recognize content that is interesting to Digg users and will be able to avoid submitting content that Digg users will dislike. To find out what I’m talking about, visit Digg’s website, click on the world & Business button, and look at the top stories on the right hand side.

Because it is elections season, a lot of presidential candidate news makes it to the “Hot” section (column on the right side of the webapge). You’ll also notice that Digg users tend to like certain candidates (Barack Obama, and formerly Ron Paul) and have a certain distaste for other candidates (John McCain, namely). It almost goes without saying that a story that features John McCain in a positive light, or portrays Barack Obama negatively, will probably not become a popular story on Digg.

Another way to become familiar with the Digg culture is to read the comments on a submitted story. What’s interesting about Digg’s comment section is that users can digg comments the same way they digg stories. To get a feel for Digg culture, look at what people are saying about top ranked stories. Don’t just look at the comments with the most diggs; check out comments that are “buried” (the opposite of “dugg”). After you have a feel for how the Digg community reacts to comments, start commenting on stories (but make sure to either digg or bury the story first, otherwise you’ll lose rapport).

Keep in mind that in order to have a lot of digg users read your comment, you need to comment on a story before it reaches the Top 10 section on the front page. The best way to get people to see your comments is to comment on a story that is in the “Upcoming” section of Digg. If the story gets popular, your comment will appear higher on the page and more users will digg (or bury) it and respond. A comment I posted about a Fox News poll recently got close to 200 Diggs. I originally found the story on the Upcoming section, but it reached the #1 spot on the Top Ten stories list.

When commenting, it is important to clearly communicate your message. I dropped the ball on this one when commenting on a Ron Paul story. I had intended to say that I hoped Dr. Paul would be healthy enough to run for President in ’12, but I made a typo in the original comment that suggested that I hoped McCain would be healthy enough to run again in ’08.

Click on the image for the full size version. My username is Bry0000000.

As a result, my initial comment was dugg down, but after I clarified myself (a little better, but the modified comment was also a little ambiguous), I received some positive feedback.

Update: I changed my Del.icio.us widget on the right to display Digg article’s that I’ve bookmarked. I’ll be researching more and posting hte interesting ones as I find them.

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Digg This

Digg.com is the epitome of internet democracy. Users submit news stories to the site while other users rank them by “digging” the story. Digging a story is simple; login (create an account if you don’t have one), find a story you like, and click on the “digg” button next to the story. Stories with enough “diggs” will be moved to a column on the right side of the page which features the top 10 “dugg” stories on Digg.

It’s easy to see why companies and public relations practitioners should become familiar with Digg: a story that makes the top 10 column can receive a significant increase in site visits.

While this is a huge opportunity for public relations professionals to bring attention to a client, there are some guidelines they should follow when using Digg:

  1. Do not digg your own content or a client’s content: This is a cardinal sin in the world of Digg. Self promotion is frowned upon by the Digg community and will quickly ruin your reputation on Digg. If you must submit something on Digg on behalf of your client, identify yourself as a public relations practitioner who is digging on behalf of a client.
  2. Make friends on Digg: Digg is a social networking site in that users can link to each other’s profiles and identify each other as friends. Friends are able to see stories that you submit, stories that you digg, and comments that you submit. Of course, you have to establish yourself as a creditable digg user before people will add you as their friend. Do this by digging stories that are interesting to you and making comments that other diggers find entertaining or useful. Digg has its own culture, so what diggers find interesting may be different than what most other social media users find interesting.
  3. Get RSS feeds from popular news sites that cover your beat: If you’re involved in political public relations, you’ll want to subscribe to the Huffington Post, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Fox News (if you research the culture of Digg you will see why Fox is included) in order to be the first to submit breaking news. For technology, subscribe to Lifehacker and Engadget, just to name a few. Subscribe to blogs or websites that talk about what you’re representing as a practitioner, then use your RSS feed to be the first to post breaking news.

There are many different tips and strategies to becoming a power user on Digg. One of my goals is to become a power user on Digg in order to make myself more marketable as a social media professional. I’ll keep this blog updated with my successes and failures in the world of Digg throughout the summer. To find out more about becoming a better digg user, check out my Del.icio.us page. I’ll keep updating it as I find new content.

Update: I forgot to post a link to my Digg profile. Add me if you’re on Digg!


About Bryan Saxton:

I am a Journalism Student at the University of Oregon and the Public Relation's Officer for the International Student Association.
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